Elegy - Theatre503
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
TRANSPORT/a summerday in association with Theatre503 are presenting the London premiere of the acclaimed 2011 Edinburgh hit, Elegy. Devised and directed by Douglas Rintoul, it runs at the Battersea venue from October 9 to November 3, 2012.
A poetic love letter to the victims of homophobic murders in liberated Iraq, Elegy was inspired by interviews of gay Iraqi refugees who fled the mass killings in their homeland to Syria.
The play uses first hand images of refugees by photojournalist Bradley Seckler and original music specially composed by award-winning composer Raymond Yiu.
Told from the viewpoint of one who got away, Elegy is described as a moving and extraordinary story of love, loss and exile: a journey through a no-man’s land of empty train stations, border crossings and bomb-blasted towns.
Performed on a bed of 700 items of discarded men’s clothing, the play confronts the reality of over 700 homophobic murders at the hands of militia groups in so-called ‘liberated’ Iraq.
Originally developed at the National Theatre Studio, Elegy reinforces Transport’s work to celebrate the diversity of the human experience, engage the imagination and promote new theatrical forms. Previous work by Transport includes the acclaimed revival of David Grieg’s Europe (Barbican and Dundee Rep) and the UK and European tour of Tena Stivicic’s Invisible.
Douglas Rintoul is currently the Artistic Director of Transport. His freelance credits include work at the Barbican, Watermill Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, Dundee Rep Theatre, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Theatre Studio, Salisbury Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre, Creation, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He was associate director at Salisbury Playhouse for two years and is also a long-standing associate director to Simon McBurney/Complicite and an assistant and associate director to Deborah Warner. He won a prestigious Channel 4 Theatre Director Scheme bursary and an Esmeé Fairbairn Regional Theatre Initiative award. In 2008, he was nominated for an Arts Foundation Fellowship.
Bradley Secker is a British photographer and journalist based in Istanbul whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Times, TIME, The New York Times, Internazionale, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, QX Magazine, TEDxRamallah, Dagsavisen and Himalayan Times.
His recent work has covered migration, the Syrian uprising, news and current affairs in Turkey and the surrounding region, and LGBT communities in Turkey. In 2011, he won the Pride Photo Award – winner of the Current Issues’ category.
Raymond Yiu is a Hong Kong born composer, jazz pianist, conductor and writer on music. His recent projects have included Maomao Yű, a quintet for piano and traditional Chinese instruments commissioned by LSO UBS Soundcapes for Lang Lang and the Silk String Quartet; two Celebrating English Song commissions, Faerie Tales (2008) and Dead Letters (2010); and a further song cycle, The Earth Common Sight, for soprano and piano, which won the Tracey Chadwell Memorial Prize for 2010.
Tickets: £14, £9 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7978 7040 or online at www.theatre503.com.
Times: 7.45pm, Sundays at 5pm.